As expected, 2022 was a year marked by several unique challenges and accomplishments, each of which helped elevate the Foundation to a new level of operational capabilities and achievement. This year, we received more charitable donations than ever before resulting in our ability to send more than $4 million to CMC in support of its academic, research and patient services activities. We also hosted our second gala event in 2023, which was highlighted by the attendance of two stalwart journalists, Lesley Stahl from CBS ‘60 Minutes’ and Nina Totenberg from NPR.
The gala was a fundraising success netting $61,976. In addition, throughout the course of the year, the Foundation organized four fundraising campaigns as we set out to raise the funds needed to provide 20 new full nursing scholarships, establish an additional model village in the Jawadhil Hills region, build an eye surgery theater at the Chittoor Hospital and to support our Annual Fund. Thanks to the generosity of our donor community, we reached or surpassed all four of our goals! Each of these campaigns has helped to ensure CMC continued success in providing the best quality education, research, health care, and appropriate socio-economic services to communities most in need.
2022 also gave witness to the consummation of a grant agreement between CMC and Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings (the organization founded by philanthropist Prem Watsa). Introduced to each other by the Foundation more than three years ago, this agreement will now result in the disbursement of $38 million to CMC for the construction of a new pediatric specialty care hospital. Approximately 80% of these funds will flow through the Foundation over a five-year period, which began in 2022 and will end in 2026. The first grant we received was in the amount of $2.4 million, representing the single largest gift the Foundation has ever received.
Once again, we hosted a number of virtual events including (1) the Foundation’s 4th Annual Ecumenical Leadership Forum, (2) a collection of prayer gatherings, highlighted by our Christmas Festival of Lessons and Carols, (3) our 4th Annual Stakeholder’s Roundtable Discussion (featured as a Friendsgiving celebration for our loyalist supporters), and (4) our Virtual Lecture Series (VLS), which concluded with an enlightening sermon delivered by The Right Reverend Saju Muthalaly, Bishop of Loughborough (within the Church of England) followed by a moderated Q&A session conducted by Dr. Julia Wattacheril, Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University – NY Presbyterian Hospital.
In collaboration with CMC, we hosted the 11th Annual Dr. Ida S. Scudder Humanitarian Oration. This year’s honored guests were Drs. Abhay and Rani Bang, founders of the nonprofit agency Society for Education, Action, and Research in Community Health (SEARCH). This nonprofit organization has been responsible for saving many lives and influencing community-based healthcare policy both in India and internationally. Drawing more than 1,700 virtual attendees and 300 people in person, the 2022 Scudder Humanitarian Oration represented the most widely attended event in its eleven-year history.
For the second time in the Foundation’s history, we hosted a Gala Event which celebrated CMC Founder, Dr. Ida Scudder’s contributions to the empowerment of women in medicine. While doing so, we recognized the accomplishments of Ms. Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, and Former US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, and Dr. J.V. Peter, Director of Christian Medical College (CMC). Each were honored for their unparalleled excellence in organizational leadership and tireless efforts to ensure the economic and social advancement of women. Our “Uplifting Humanity”-themed gala was emceed by broadcast journalist, Lesley Stahl, and attended by NPR legal affairs correspondent, Nina Totenberg.
Each took the opportunity to interview the other onstage, producing one of the evening’s most memorable moments. Attendees were also entertained by the blended voices of the a cappella group, Backtrack Vocals, who in addition to performing their own collection of songs also sang a beat-box rendition of the “CMC College Song” to the delight of many alumni and others who were in attendance.
There were significant changes in leadership at both CMC and the Vellore CMC Foundation this past year: the Chair of the Vellore CMC Foundation, the Director of CMC, the Associate Directors of Human Resources, Finance, Administration, and Ranipet Campus Medical Center at CMC, the Directors of CMC’s LCECU and CHAD programs, and the Principal of the Medical College itself.
With CMC’s new leadership team, we also renewed our commitment to sponsoring (1) early-stage medical research and (2) the Honorine Ward Senior Training Fellowship program with the signing of two new memorandums of understanding, each creating meaningful training opportunities for CMC faculty and students alike.
The greatest accomplishment of 2022 belonged to all the dedicated people at CMC (and the hundreds of donors from throughout the world) whose generosity and tireless efforts contributed to the successful opening of CMC’s new Level One Trauma Care and Specialized Medicine Centre. After more than ten years of planning and diligent execution, CMC’s dream of opening a 1500-bed multi-specialty hospital and teaching facility was realized. Until now, the only other two Level One trauma centers in the entire country were operated within the government sector, each located in North India. In keeping with CMC’s belief that healing of the mind, body, and soul requires God’s blessings, the centrality of a place of worship was an integral component of the facility, having been designed with a small chapel placed in the front of the building and a larger one placed in the rear. These chapels now serve as a sanctuary of hope, peace, and comfort for the recipients of care and the caregivers.
With 2022 now behind us, we turn our attention toward the new year with great enthusiasm and anticipation! 2023 represents an opportunity for the Foundation to celebrate the 75th anniversary of its founding while creating opportunities to come together (virtually and in person) to pay tribute to the various segments of our donor community, to the many partnerships that have been cultivated over the years, to CMC and its leadership team, and (of course) to Dr. Ida Scudder, the founder of both CMC and the Vellore CMC Foundation. Please stay tuned for the many details that are about to follow!